As part of a recent contest, we asked parents to list their 5 favourite activity venues in Bangkok. In honour of the rainy season, below (starting in the order of the most popular) are the top 20 picks for indoor activities, along with each venue’s recommended ages.
1. KidZania (ages 4 to 12)
Hands down, this indoor theme park is a favourite place for families to spend the day – and it’s easy to see why. The huge, unique, and a very realistic educational city environment allows children to role-play in countless job scenarios such as fire fighter, fast food worker, judge, stage performer, commercial pilot and vet. Kids earn (and spend) their “money” as they please.
2. Sea Life Ocean World Bangkok (ages 2 and up)
Another favourite with our families, this basement aquarium features a tunnel that affords a 180-degree view of sharks, rays and countless other denizens of the deep. There is also a glass bottom boat ride, two penguin enclosures, a seahorse exhibit, rainforest zone and more. The annual pass is a great deal for unlimited visits throughout the year.
3. Playtime (ages 1 to 6)
An indoor playground, Playtime offers a climbing frame with slides, a trampoline and a zip line. It also features a rock climbing wall, sand pit, electric car course, balloon pit, ball combat zone, and cooking and crafts stations. There is a separate play area for babies and toddlers. One mum highlights its cleanliness: “My child has never fell sick after going there, which can’t be said of other [play spaces].”
4. Children’s Discovery Museum (ages 2 and up)
With free admission, the museum features interactive exhibits in three buildings with over 7,000 square metres of space. Popular attractions include excavating dinosaur bones, running around in the outdoor water play park, climbing in the tree house-style playground, engaging in role playing with costumes, and trying lots of hands-on science experiments. “Even though we don’t speak Thai, my daughter was able to fully participate in all the activities,” says one mum.
5. CentralWorld (ages 2 and up)
As far as malls go, CentralWorld is the top crowd pleaser. The sprawling complex appeals to our parents because of its free indoor playground with a separate padded toddler area, coin op animal rides, stroller service and train. The sprawling complex also houses TK Park library and The Rink for ice skating, as well as provides easy shopping, dining and parking options.
6. Funarium (ages 1 to 12)
The largest indoor playground in Bangkok, Funarium features a variety of play zones aimed at different age groups. There’s a fully padded play area for children up to 4 years old. Older children can play in a separate multi-storey jungle gym with slides, swing ropes, a trampoline and a net bridge. It also has a basketball/football court surrounded by a bicycle and scooter track (all equipment is provided), an outdoor sandpit, and a large arts and crafts centre.
7. Kidzoona Molly Fantasy (ages 1 to 12)
Parents also love this indoor play zone, with multiple branches across Bangkok. It’s split into two different areas: 1. Molly Fantasy, including coin-operated rides, arcade games, bowling, air hockey, basketball and gopher bashing; and 2. Kidzoona, a soft play area with inflatable slides, a giant ball pit, a climbing frame, and a miniature town that lets children try out a range of different jobs, from running food shops to working at a florist, construction site and more.
8. Mega Bangna & IKEA (ages 2 and up)
Mega Bangna is another great shopping complex for families as it provides “lots of kid-friendly stations and play areas scattered around the mall, plus a good variety of kids items in stores such as IKEA.” The latter also features Småland, a supervised playroom near the entrance. Those 4 to 12 years and 9 months can become a Smålish citizen where they receive a passport for collecting stickers, Smålish dållars, and discounted food coupons at IKEA’s restaurant.
9. Neilson Hays Library (ages 18 months and up)
Housing Bangkok’s premier collection of English language books, the Neilson Hays Library is awesome for children and families, running weekly storytelling programs and other family events, many of which are free for members. Every Saturday morning, the library offers themed storytelling in English for children 3 to 7 years in age, followed by a craft activity. One mum commented, “So much room for creativity and imagination.”
10. Imaginia Playland (ages 2 to 10)
Imaginia features many interactive play areas; highlights include a Time Tube Slider that lets kids zip through a lighted tube; Imaginia Town Hall with a 180-degree curved screen for story-telling; and the Dream Jungle and Dragon Cave, a huge climbing net with built-in curves, a slide and trampolines. “Not a bad way to spend a morning or afternoon indoors, with the added bonus of many food choices in the upstairs [Emporium] food court,” said one parent.
11. Bounce Thailand (ages 4 and up)
Bounce features a huge trampoline arena of over 5,600 square metres and 105 trampolines, with free jumping, dodge ball, slam-dunking and soft pit jumping zones. It’s a great place for kids to expend energy while getting exercise and having fun. Also, an adjacent Clip ‘N Climb Zone offers 24 innovative climbing walls with a range of difficulty, many of which are suitable for children 110 cm. and up. Bounce also hosts great birthday parties; enquire about packages.
12. Yoyoland (ages 3 to 12)
With branches in Seacon Square and Seacon Bangkhae, Yoyoland is a vast indoor play centre with a variety of arcade games for older kids, while younger ones will love the adventure playground with games and rides, including miniature golf, a pirate ship, a Ferris wheel, a ball park and slide, and the YoYo Express train. Kids will be kept well and truly entertained until it’s time to tear them away! “We always have a good time at Yoyoland, and it’s pretty quiet on weekdays.”
13. Art in Paradise (ages 3 and up)
Inside this 3D art museum are works of two-dimensional “illusion art” that seemingly come to life. Take photos, hamming it up with the various works. You can can surf on big ocean waves, be in a shark’s jaws, get stuck in an “Alice in Wonderland” shrinking scene, cross precarious suspension bridges, hang out in new takes on old classic paintings and more — all for a morning or afternoon of laughs!
14. Snowtown (ages 2 and up)
Snow Town is large snow themed park laid out like a Euro-Japanese mountain village. The artificial snow is around 30-40 cms thick and it can be used for skiing, sliding, building snow forts and snowball fights. The air is cool, but not frigid, and boots are provided with the cost of admission. You can also rent other winter clothing items, sleds, digging equipment and skis. There are several on-site restaurants as well as a small interactive 3D craft room.
15. National Science Museum (ages 2 to 10)
The Chamchuri Square branch of the National Science Museum (NSM) is a hit for kids with its simple hands-on exhibits demonstrating principles surrounding probability, magnetism, and physical forces, among many others. There is also a skeleton and fossil exhibit, including a small mock excavation pit; and an area for kids to build with giant blocks, fiddle with computers, and play with educational toys. Families also like visiting the renovated Bangkok Planetarium in Ekamai, which is run by NSM.
16. Central Festival Eastville (ages 2 and up)
A relatively new mall in Bangkok, this branch of Central features many restaurants and shops, a movie theatre, and even a track on the top floor if you wish to exercise. Also, it’s pet-friendly with wide walkways and a more eco-centric feel. One mom recommended the Think Space B2S, a large, relaxed book and stationary retail space, as a place to bring children.
17. Little Pea Kids Commons (ages 2 to 12)
This community space and café provides many opportunities for multi-sensory play, hands-on learning, and creative exploration. Kids can check out on-going activities in the drop-in art and play space, while a larger studio room features toys and scheduled activities, including playgroups for babies and toddlers and classes in post natal exercise, baby ballet, drama, hip hop dance, cooking, Zumba, woodworking and much more.
18. Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall (ages 4 and up)
Learn about and appreciate Thailand’s artistic and cultural legacies of the Rattanakosin era. The museum is divided into nine halls, with nine topics, spanning over 4,800 square metres. This includes state-of-the-art multimedia and interactive presentation devices. Visitors can view a 4D multimedia display presenting the beginning of Rattanakosin; a 360-degree multimedia presentation of traditional entertainment performances; Ramakien animation and more.
19. Rockin’ Jump (ages 3 and up)
Rockin’ Jump trampoline hall lets kids and adults can soar in open jump arenas, jump into pools of soft foam cubes, play trampoline dodge ball, and do aerial flips and somersaults. It’s also a good alternative for birthday parties and family gatherings, with food and private party rooms. Price promotions as well as toddler specials are offered at non-peak hours and/or during school holidays; ask for more details.
20. LAZGAM (ages 7 and up)
This relatively new venue is an indoor laser tag arena with a futuristic labyrinth. Here, up to 32 players can engage in scenarios such as VIP protection, shot-infecting alien invasions, and other exciting game modes. It’s great for an afternoon of active play as well as birthday parties. One parent enthused, “Can’t get enough of this place – my active boys and their friends love getting together to play!”